Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge

The Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge will award up to $350,000 in grant funding to support scalable, innovative, third-party training solutions to the off-grid solar home system sector's workforce needs in sub-Saharan Africa. USAID, as part of its commitment to the Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development, is supporting the Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge run by the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN).



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The Problem

Off-grid solar home systems (SHS) are an emerging solution to provide access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. According to GOGLA, the off-grid solar sector globally has an estimated annual growth rate of 140% that is primarily driven by pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business models and 'plug-and-play' solar home system technology. With continued growth, the sector could support up to 1.3 million full­ time equivalent jobs by 2022.


Hiring and retaining qualified employees has been challenging for many SHS companies. Challenges include lack of candidates with appropriate technical and “soft skills,” lack of relevant and context-based curricula on off-grid systems at the certificate level, the inability of the sector to compete for fresh graduates with higher-paying established companies, high-performing employees being poached by competitors, and a lack of capital to invest in the continued training and professional development of current employees. Furthermore, in Africa, SHS solutions are often deployed in rural and remote areas where it can be even harder to attract and retain staff.


About the Challenge

Third-party organizations that focus on training workers for the off-grid solar home system sector offer a viable, and potentially more efficient and effective workforce development solution, but are not yet widely supported or utilized.
The specific objectives of this funding window are to identify and support scalable, innovative, third-party training solutions to the off-grid solar home system sector's workforce needs in sub-Saharan Africa.

This call is an initiative of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its commitment to the Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development.






Why Participate?

The selected organizations will receive awards ranging from USD 100,000 to USD 350,000 for project implementation over the course of one year, subject to the availability of funding.








Participant Journey
Call for Proposals Opens
16 October, 2019




The launch of the Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge was announced at the “Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa” Conference in Dakar.
Closing Date for Questions
29 November, 2019




RAN will be regularly updating the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document posted to the website. Please review the FAQ document for prior answers before submitting any new questions related to the Challenge or application content.

Call for Proposals Closes
15 December, 2019



The call for proposals will remain open until 15 December 2019.

Resources

The link below will direct you to the Application Intake Portal.







The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) headquartered at Makerere University is a research and innovation network currently operating in 20 African Universities in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. RAN is strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities using innovative, evidence-based approaches developed in collaboration with university students, faculty and the community.

Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development is a global partnership founded by USAID, Power Africa, the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the African Development Bank, and independent charity Shell Foundation. By optimizing the resources and expertise of its partners, SOGE accelerates the growth of a dynamic, commercial off-grid energy market to provide clean, modern, and affordable energy access to the millions of households and businesses beyond the grid in sub-Saharan Africa.

Competitions for Development

The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.